People learn a certain behaviour and stick to it. The advantage is that they do not need to consciously remember an action, but can act unconsciously, thus reducing cognitive strain.
Now what happens when a well-known UI is changed? People would need to adapt, but will stick to their learned behaviour at first. Like Little Big Details shows, Chrome moved the search field on new tabs but still allows to enter search terms when users tap on the empty area where the field was before.
It looks like an Easter Egg, but is actually a well-designed UI.
After recommending the article on cognitive load, I would like to link to an article on cognitive strain in navigational elements by the highly esteemed Jakob Nielsen.
His article shows how to minimize cognitive strain in website (or product) navigation, and as usual, shows some nice screenshots to illustrate the case.
Today I would like to recommend an article on cognitive load. Obviously, it should be reduced in your software product as much as possible to minimize strain and errors. Simon Cast hints at how to reduce cognitive load.
In my next post, I will highlight cognitive strain in navigation elements.